No announcement yet.

Potable Water Pump Issue?-gctid384393

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Potable Water Pump Issue?-gctid384393

    My fresh water system seems to be acting up... It appears I have some air in the lines. When I run the shower or sinks some air seems to be sputtering out with the water. The pump also seems to be working a bit harder than normal and a bit louder. Also, when I turn the shower off there is a bit of vibration and a small squeak/groan that comes from the systems plumbing pipes and out the shower faucet..

    I am heading out in about 20 hours for a 5 day trip and am hoping there is a quick fix.. If I have air in the system what is the cure? drain it completely and re-fill?

    Any help is appreciated.. Thank you in advance..

    Sounds like you have a leak somewhere. Is there any excess water in the bilges?


      Pau Hana wrote:
      Sounds like you have a leak somewhere. Is there any excess water in the bilges?
      yes, a bit in the forward bilge.. The pump kicks on for a second about once/twice a day for no reason.. I have traced every pipe/fitting that I can see without tearing stuff apart and I can not detect the leak.. I am sure it is somewhere very inconvenient :thumb..

      The pump has been kicking on for a while now but I have had no ill effects because of it until yesterday (what I described above).

      I guess I already know the answer to this but is there something I can do short term to get through the trip without losing the fresh water? Or is finding the leak and fixing the only option?

      Also, if I run it for 5 more days as is am I risking more problems? I am a novice plumber :livid:..


        A sputtering faucet usually means that air is being introduced before the pump; not after the pump.

        Things that I have seen on my boat that you might want to check:

        1) The 45xx has two water tanks. I don't know how many the 3870 has. I get sputtering / air if one of the tanks is low on water. The fix on the 45xx is either to add water or close the valve to the tank that is low on water.

        2) There is a small filter just before the pump on my boat. The filter just has a small screen in it. The screen seems to accumulate sand and needs to be cleaned about every four water tank fill-ups. I notice that it needs to be cleaned when the pump starts to sound like it is working harder and the water sputters a bit as the pump sucks a bit of air instead of water through the clogged filter.

        3) I've never had this problem but you could get air if there was a small leak in the hose between the tank(s) and the pump.

        Good luck,

        Jim V.


          i have the exact same problem on my boat.. a 1977 3050 encounter,

          i have 2 water tanks. i just started to investigate the cause last night

          and disconected where the water enters the screen filter before the

          pressure pump,and found my tanks to be draining too slow for the pressure

          pump.this symptom has just started.its not a venting issue so i am going to

          snake both water lines and see if they got clogged somehow.i will let you know

          the out come,maybe it will help in your problem.


            If you are unable to detect any actual leak in the tubing itself - look at the quick connects. Are they holding tight?

            I had a similar issue where I couldn't get water to flow through the galley. In my case the cold water supply to the water heater was not tight. The plastic Whale quick connect wasn't holding tight to the metal pipe extending out of the water heater.

            Even though the quick connect is labelled 15mm, it was loose. Strangely enough, the Hot water cable was attached using a quick connect to a similar metal pipe, but this one was holding rock solid. It turns out there is a difference in quick connect elbows - the one holding tight was SeaTech 15mm - it has metal teeth inside the collar - the Whale quick connect only has plastic teeth inside.

            Also you mentioned the pump is "constantly" running. Mine did this too. It kept running because it kept pumping water from the fresh water holding tank right out into the bilge.


              I had the same problem, the pump was sucking air at the screen assy. Removed the screen assy. & attached the line direct to pump, no problem then. Bought a new screen & installed, it is working fine.
              Capt. Ron.
              "I will not tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death"
              "Never Trade Luck For Skill"
              1987 3870 - Northern Lights ll
              Hino EH700
              Westerbeke 8.0
              1999 Logic Marine 17' CC/50 Merc.
              on Louisiana pool Mississippi River.


                Similar problem on my 4588. Biggest problem was the clear plastic cover on the pump had a hairline crack. Pump replacement was pretty easy, I did it on the trip from Elkton to Baltimore.
                Yep, my 4588 Bayliner IS my happy place :whistle:


                  If you have one of those round clear plastic strainer,filters on pump inlet, it could be cracked or if the type that screws apart, it has loosened allowing air to enter, but if above tank water level will not leak much water, if any. Have had this happen a couple of times.
                  Started boating 1965
                  Bayliners owned: 26 Victoria, 28 Bounty, 32, 38, and 47 since 1996


                    Thanks everyone for the advise.. I just got back from my trip and will check out the strainers and connections to the pump.. I felt down there and it is a little wet, so I suspect it is going to be something similar to one of the above posts..


                      I just installed a new Johnson variable speed pump, and noticed that I have an air bubble in the clear plastic cover on the strainer. Can't seem to get it to pump through, so I'm assuming that the air is coming from around the cover. When off for a time, I get a slight weep of water under the pump/strainer. Just waiting until I pump some of the water out of the tank, as I just disinfected, flushed & filled it.